Directed and produced by five Bay Area filmmakers, CarBabes is the first feature-length film written, directed, and produced by all five filmmakers, who channeled their love for the art of making films to produce this slapstick comedy.
The idea for the film was conceptualized by Blake Dirickson, 27, who is one of the writers of the film. He said he gained the inspiration for the film from a used car lot in Santa Clara, where he worked for 18 months. He would often share stories with his friends about the car babes he worked with. He pitched the concept to first-time filmmakers Chris Wolf, 27, Nick Fumia, 27, Ben Rehki, 28, and Liz Destro, 27, and they loved the idea.
"The biggest challenge we faced with this project was convincing friends and strangers to invest in a group of filmmakers who didn't have much under their belts in the realm of filmmaking," Wolf said.
"It was the most emotionally and physically draining thing I've ever done and I loved every minute of it," said Fumia.
The 35mm CarBabes, was shot at Moore Pontiac & Buick in Los Gatos, California, for 26 days late Summer, 2005, with feature film cinematographer Oden Roberts. Co-starring in CarBabes are Jon Gries, Blake Clark, Donnell Rawlings, Carolina Garcia and David Shackelford.
For Ben Savage the attraction was the dynamic between the father and son and the struggle for the son to grow from a boy into a man. "It focused on something my friends and I are going through," the recent Stanford graduate explains. "Like that two- or three-year period right out of college where everything's a possibility, everything's terrifying. You don't really have any sense of stability. It's the first time you're out on your own in life and I think that's such an interesting time."
Savage is in almost every scene of the film and he appreciates the level of collaboration involved. "Working with these guys, it really makes you feel like it's a group project. They're all young (and) they are very open and receptive to everyone's ideas. It's a really great set to be around."
Having to put the film together on a "spit and glue" budget (an industry term for low budget), covering 126 days of script in 26 days, caused the cast to improvise and adjust along the way, according to Wolf. He said it is under these circumstances, however, that the most creative things happen.
Much like the car babes they portray in the film, Wolf said being a filmmaker also starts and ends with the ability to sell yourself. He said CarBabes is a stepping-stone to something bigger for each of the filmmakers.
"Watching a little dream turn into something that is essentially immortal and the experience of creating something that starts on piece of paper and ends up on the big screen is really rewarding," Wolf said.
Ford Davis, a 24-year-old recent college graduate with no direction in his life, is forced to live with his parents and work for his dad, Big Len, at his car dealership to pay off a loaner car he damaged. On the lot, Ford quickly learns that the game of car sales is not easy. His only saving grace becomes his co-workers, the heartwarming and irreverent CarBabes, who teach him that selling cars is about selling yourself. After an unforgettable test drive with a self-assured hairdresser, Ford begins to gain confidence not only selling cars, but with his new sexy girlfriend.
But back on the lot, mobile home tycoon Ron Hamper, owner of the neighboring Hamper’s Campers, has his evil eye on Big Len's property. After an uncalled-for visit, Hamper threatens to shut Big Len down and turn Davis Automotive into a parking lot for his used campers.
With the days at Davis Automotive numbered, Big Len and the CarBabes have all but given up, but Ford comes up with an idea to save the dealership. Using the wisdom he has gained from his father and the rest of the team, Ford concocts one final plan: a blowout sale to sell 300 cars in a month.Ben Savage as Ford Davis
Jon Gries as Gary
Blake Clark as "Big Len" Davis
Donnell Rawlings as Julius Jefferson
Kevin Blackton as Ron Hamper
Stephanie Keeney as Judy Gary
Arj Barker as Jimmy
David Shackelford as Pat Skis
John Campo as Dicky Deluna
Marshall Manesh as Babu Gulab
Carolina Garcia as Alicia Santos
Amy Resnick as Linda Davis
Car Babes was released in Region 1 DVD on June 10, 2008, by Vivendi Visual Entertainment.